Saturday, April 29, 2017

Self-medicating with busyness

In talking with my coach this week, I had a big insight. I've always sort of known that I'm addicted to overworking. I like feeling productive (it's a reliable positive feeling for me) and I like being needed by my clients and doing them a good service with my editing and coaching. It's a win/win.

But over the years as my interests have broadened out, especially in the creative direction of writing and painting, this overworking habit is not serving me so well because I'm just trying to cram more in and feeling more and more stressed about it. I've set up blog commitments and writing commitments and painting commitments and work commitments and social commitments that leave me pretty ragged.

And what I saw Monday was not only is overworking a well-entrenched habit, it is a form of self-medicating. And oddly, a kind of preemptive self-medicating. I overwork not only to get the good feelings of productivity and being useful. I overwork to prevent boredom, restlessness, and any other uncomfortable feelings. In a way, this isn't a bad thing. I don't want to be bored or restless or sad or unhappy. But at the same time, I don't let those feelings come up and move through me. I'm numbing them out with work and commitments.

I don't think I'm the only one who does this, the only one who's nervous about downtime and what might show up. I do know that I don't want to be self-medicating in any way. I want to be fully in my life however that appears. So change is needed.


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